Budget 2022-23 – No ‘big bang’ announcements in Health
29 March 2022: Medicines Australia welcomes tonight’s Budget announcements for new PBS listings and ongoing COVID-19 measures.
Medicines Australia CEO, Elizabeth de Somer, said increased funding and commitments to ongoing health investment will be necessary to ensure faster access to innovative medicines for Australians who need them.
“Medicines Australia will pursue these long term objectives through the Strategic Agreement, signed with the Government last year and through the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Review,” said Ms de Somer.
“The innovative biopharmaceutical industry has been central to Australia’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic and will be a major contributor to the nation’s economic recovery by keeping people healthy and productive in the workplace and in their daily lives.
“As the vaccination rollout has shown, medicines save lives and improve quality of life.
“Rapid access to medicines and vaccines is crucial for Australia’s health and economic recovery.
“The Government must invest heavily in health – including medicines – to keep the population in good health and safe from inevitable health crises and pandemics now and in the decades ahead.
“The Medicines Australia Budget Submission called on the Government for strong investments in the PBS, science and innovation,” she said.
Medicines Australia notes some increased spending in aged care and mental health and welcome changes to the PBS safety net.
Significant Budget announcements for the biopharmaceutical sector include:
1. COVID-19 response package – vaccines and treatments: $1.0 billion over two years for continued distribution and uptake of the COVID-19 vaccines across Australia.
2. Improving access to medicines – PBS new and amended listings: the Government will provide $2.4 billion over 5 years from 2021-22 for new and amended listings on the PBS.
3. PBS – lowering the safety net threshold: $525.3 million over 4 years from 2022-23 to reduce the PBS safety net thresholds.
4. Fighting cancer: $423.7 million over 5 years to support specialist facilities and research to fight and prevent cancer including the establishment of the Western Australian Comprehensive Cancer Centre and Genomics Australia.
5. mRNA vaccine manufacturing: the Government will establish an mRNA vaccine manufacturing facility with Moderna to support pandemic preparedness.
“Medicines Australia will continue to work with the Government on policies and reforms that ensure Australian patients have faster access to the latest innovations in medicines, vaccines and treatments,” said Ms de Somer.
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